The F-150's Aluminum Secret to Success: HeattreatingNovember 1, 2014
An expansion of the partnership between Al-Fe Heat Treating, Saginaw, MI, and Ford forms the foundation of the 2015 Ford F-150. Al-Fe Heat Treating is investing millions of dollars in its Saginaw plant in part to process structural parts for the all-new military-grade aluminum alloy and high-strength steel F-150. The investment allows Al-Fe to perform the precision air-quenching (PAQ) heattreating process to the aluminum, which offers significant benefits, say company officials, compared to traditional quenching methods. The PAQ process provides the required mechanical properties while controlling and minimizing distortion.
Al-Fe also is partnering with Can-Eng International, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, to upgrade and customize the controls on Al-Fe’s continuous solution furnace, as well as build and install the PAQ system. In addition, Can-Eng will assist in adapting the configuration of the automated conveyors, delivering the parts immediately to Al-Fe’s existing continuous age oven, to complete the artificial-aging process.
Says John Holifield, Al-Fe vice president of heat treating operations: “Precision air quenching is a process that allows automotive part manufacturers to build frames, engines and other parts out of aluminum and steel, marrying the best of strength and lightweight design into one.”Al-Fe Heat Treating: www.al-fe.com